Year
1998

President Clinton designates “Automobile National Heritage Area” in Detroit

On November 6, 1998, President Bill Clinton declares that part of Detroit will become an “Automobile National Heritage Area.” The designation restricted land use and drew attention to what Michigan Congressman John Dingell called “the automobile’s contribution to our history and economic strength and the role of organized labor in that history.”

The area, the 18th of 40 National Heritage Areas in the U.S., has been renamed the MotorCities National Heritage Area. The Heritage region covers 10,000 square miles and is home to more than 6 million people. “Not just ‘Any Place, USA’ can be a National Heritage Area,” the National Park Service notes. “It requires a unique story that is important to the heritage of America and an act of Congress to become a National Heritage Area. It encourages residents and visitors to recognize, celebrate, and share with others that they are part of a region where great things happened and continue to happen in ways that shape and mol d America.”

There are almost 1,200 auto-related sites in the region, more than any other place in the world. These include the Ford world headquarters in Dearborn, the childhood home of the groundbreaking automaker Preston Tucker, several classic-car museums, old union halls and iconic bars, and countless factories, machine shops and assembly plants for all kinds of cars and trucks.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Canadians take Passchendaele

After three months of horrific fighting, the Third Battle of Ypres finally ends when Canadian forces take the village of Passchendaele in Belgium.In one of the bloodiest battles of World War I, a combination of over-ambitious aims, terrible weather conditions, and misguided ...read more

Bolsheviks revolt in Russia

Led by Bolshevik Party leader Vladimir Lenin, leftist revolutionaries launch a nearly bloodless coup d’État against Russia’s ineffectual Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks and their allies occupied government buildings and other strategic locations in the Russian capital of ...read more

Abraham Lincoln elected president

Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th president of the United States over a deeply divided Democratic Party, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency. Lincoln received only 40 percent of the popular vote but handily defeated the three other candidates: Southern Democrat ...read more

U.N. condemns apartheid

On this day in 1962, the United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution condemning South Africa’s racist apartheid policies and calling on all its members to end economic and military relations with the country.In effect from 1948 to 1993, apartheid, which comes from the ...read more

Teddy Roosevelt travels to Panama

On this day in 1906, President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt embarks on a 17-day trip to Panama and Puerto Rico, becoming the first president to make an official diplomatic tour outside of the continental United States.Roosevelt entered office in 1901 with the firm intention of ...read more

Cabeza de Vaca discovers Texas

On this day, the Spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca is shipwrecked on a low sandy island off the coast of Texas. Starving, dehydrated, and desperate, he is the first European to set foot on the soil of the future Lone Star state.Cabeza de Vaca’s unintentional journey ...read more

John Philip Sousa is born

John Philip Sousa did not invent the musical genre he came to personify, but even if no other composer had ever written a single piece in the same style, the standard repertoire of the American marching band would be little changed. The instantly recognizable sound of Sousa’s ...read more

Playwright Thomas Kyd is baptized

On this day in 1558, Thomas Kyd is baptized in London. Kyd created the “revenge tragedy,” a popular dramatic form that gave rise to tragedies like William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.Little is known about Kyd’s childhood, but scholars believe he was educated at the Merchant Taylor’s ...read more

Downey stars in Less Than Zero

On this day in 1987, Less Than Zero, a movie about a group of wealthy young friends in Los Angeles in the 1980s starring Robert Downey Jr., Andrew McCarthy and Jami Gertz, opens in theaters. Based on a 1985 novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero told the ...read more

Dam gives way in Georgia

On this day in 1977, the Toccoa Falls Dam in Georgia gives way and 39 people die in the resulting flood.Ninety miles north of Atlanta, the Toccoa (Cherokee for “beautiful”) Falls Dam was constructed of earth across a canyon in 1887, creating a 55-acre lake 180 feet above the ...read more

A woman ices her husband with anti-freeze

Shirley Allen is arrested for poisoning her husband, Lloyd Allen, with ethylene glycol, commonly known as anti-freeze. After witnessing her mother spike Lloyd’s drinks with the deadly substance, Shirley’s own daughter turned her in to the authorities.Lloyd Allen was Shirley’s ...read more